The Baseball Project Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails

What do a bunch of American indie rock legends do when they have time on their hands? Write a bunch of songs about baseball, of course. While this may seem incongruous to the notion of jocks versus artists, any baseball fan knows that it’s the only major team sport that at least tolerates the occasional individualist. That seems the basis for most of these tracks, helmed by former Dream Syndicate leader Steve Wynn and uber-sideman Scott McCaughey, with his R.E.M./Minus 5 cohort Peter Buck chipping in on bass. In essence, it’s a tribute to heroic figures like Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige, Fernando Valenzuela and other names that will undoubtedly not register with anyone unfamiliar with America’s pastime. That said, musically Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails has a predictable power pop sheen that the principle players are known for, with a dash of good old heartland rock thrown in. Is that enough to consider it anything other than a mere vanity project? Probably not, unless Volume 2 shows significant improvement. After all, the best hitters still get out seven times out of ten. (Yep Roc)